tv CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul CNN April 15, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
so grateful to have your company today. i'm christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. north korea flexing its military muscles in front of the world. for the first time showing off what could be those powerful long-range missiles. >> the regime's new show of force adding more fuel to flaring temperatures on the korean peninsula. kim jong-un you see there on hand watching what you're seeing here. this huge military parade. it marks the country's biggest holiday today but analysts say this, what you're looking at here, never before seen military hardware. analysts believing these mobile canisters could contain the largest missiles ever produced by north korea. >> the trump administration is watching this very closely as vice president mike pence left a short time ago for south korea. it's the start of an 11-day trip through the asia pacific region. president trump is spending easter weekend at his island resort in florida. aides from the national security
council are keeping the president briefed on this situation in north korea. >> our will ripley is in the north korean capital and had an up close look at the military parade and military hardware. >> reporter: ominous sight. north korea's growing missile arsenal on full display including what the south korean military suspects are two never before seen intercontinental ballistic missiles. like all military parades around the world, these missiles are most likely mock-ups but analysts believe north korea has the real thing and may be waiting for just the right moment to put this modernized missile arsenal to the test. what should the world think when they see these ballistic missiles rolling by? is north korea a threat to the world? >> translator: the korean people's army is fully ready to attack our enemies at any moment, he says, if they try to attack us. >> reporter: despite escalating rhetoric and u.s. warships and
submarines headed for the korean coast, the nation's supreme leader kim jong-un did not test a weapon on saturday as many predicted instead he showed force by showing off missiles that could some day deliver nuclear warheads to the mainland u.s. i think we've done something better than a nuclear test, he says. we've shown the world something much big. jong-un has launched more missiles than his father and grandfather combined. from missiles to manpower, soldiers from all branches of north korea's massive standing army. a fighting force of more than 1 million men and women, soldiers chanting they're willing to die for their supreme commander. also on display, north korea's convention arsenal. tanks, artillery, weapons
pointed directly at tens of millions of people in the city of seoul, south korea. even if north korea can't match the firepower of the u.s., experts say they have potential to do a lot of damage and kill a lot of people. after the soldiers, the civilians, these are people who have been out since predawn hours screaming long live kim jong- jong-un. saturday marks the day of the sun. north korea's most important holiday celebrating the 105th birthday of kim jong-un's grandfather, the founder idolized alongside his son. an entire society built around three generations of the kim family. what do you want president trump to know about the north korean people? i think president trump should try to learn more about north korea and its people, she says. we are never afraid of the american nuclear threat. we have our own nuclear weapons to counter those threats. weapons north korea and its
unpredictable leader put on full display promising they're not afraid to use it if provoked. will ripley, cnn, pyongyang. >> this is all unfolding as vice president mike pence began this asia pacific tour starting with south korea. paula hancocks is live there. north korea wanting to send a message with this show of force. what's the reaction there? >> reporter: absolutely. everything is highly choreographed coming out of north korea. certainly a message here for the world, for south korea, and a number of missiles that analysts believe could already hit south korea. they have the submarine launch ballistic missiles they were showing these solid fuel missiles. a lot easier to be able to move. a lot harder to be able to at the detective by the west.
there was a message that north korea is becoming stronger by the way militarily. we know from experts and analysts and officials here in seoul and also in washington that the pace of the improvements in north korea is significant. they do believe that they are getting to where they want to go and where they want to go is to be able to have a nuclear tipped intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit mainland united states. obviously analysts and experts, intelligence agencies around the world will be poring over these images trying to figure out if those two potentially new icbms are in the process of being built, whether or not they may have been built. kim jong-un at the beginning of the year said he's close to test launching aicbm. there will be a lot of investigation going on from pictures that we have seen from that parade. >> paula hancocks for us in seoul. thank you. >> elise labott and general
marks with us now. thank you for being here. general, we want to start with you. the world was watching. there was great expectation that north korea would launch another missile today. the fact that they did not, what does that tell you? >> it tells me nothing frankly. i mean, i appreciate the question. north korea has had five nuclear tests. this would have been the sixth. it's inevitable that there will be another one. this is simply a part of the progression in terms of their desire to improve their readiness. as it's been reported by this network and also picking up on what has become what i would call intelligence that's out there from our national intelligence community, is that by probably 2020, north korea will have a nuclear tipped icbm. if not more than probably a half does of those things. that is incredibly alarming. that should be the number one focus that we kind of look at
and ensure that we are postured to do something about. previously the only thing that's been preventing north korea from achieving that capability has been time. we've run out of time. the decision in terms of what we do now belongs to this administration. >> all right. 86 days speaking of this administration into the new one. the president seems to be pivotipivo pivoting away from his america first doctrine that we heard so much about in the campaign. what are you recognizing in that regard? >> i think, you know, this was a president that didn't want to get involved in what he called adventures overseas and now the realities of governing show him he can't sit idle and focus on the domestic issues. i mean, these are world hot spots and crises that are coming up that demand u.s. attention and that in itself dealing with america's national security is putting america first. i think you've had this pivot by the president.
you've had more military action. you saw that syria strike last week. you saw this week this use of the largest nonnuclear weapon in the u.s. arsenal. the mother of all bombs in afghanistan against isis. i think what president trump is trying to say is that, you know, america will not, you know, sit idly by if there's a crisis and issue that demands u.s. attention. i mean, i think there's a concern maybe that this is becoming a little bit too militaristic of a foreign policy. when you see something that is going on today in north korea, north korea developing all of these new missile canisters that we see, we don't really know if there are missiles inside or the missiles are operational. for all we know those missiles inside could be made out of paper mache. what's concerning is that north
korea is developing this type of missile as spider marks said going toward this type of weapon, and the question is now in north korea it's a little bit not safe but a little bit easier for president trump to make a decision in syria or in afghanistan. but the repercussions of what he might do in north korea are with military action are really unthinkable. the worst case scenario. i think you might try to see, you know, more u.s. diplomacy backed by the threat of force in a situation like this. >> a representative from the armed services committee spoke to what has to happen with north korea. let's listen to what he said here. >> we need to deescalate. this is not the time to, you know, try to act like a tough guy. north korea knows about our capabilities. they know our willingness to protect, you know, our allies, and so for us trying to push
forward and push the envelope will create an escalation that could be very dangerous and tip over into a hot war involving nuclear weapons which nobody win which is that occurs. >> general marks, do you believe that this can be deescalated and how? >> let me address what the congressman just said. it almost doesn't matter what the united states or anyone else does relative to north korean behavior. inarguably, everything that the alliance, the south korean and u.s. alliance and our friends in the region have done over the course of the last 70 years has not altered any behavior in pyongyang. that's point number one. the fact that we have a carrier battleground in the sea of japan is normal behavior. that's point number two. i would suggest that beijing is more concerned about that because they could see where something could tip out of control. but we focus more as the congressman said, he described it as sabre rattling.
this is normal behavior to maintain a level of readiness to ensure that what we cannot predict in the north does not occur or at least we can mitigate it. so there is the mission, number one, for the alliance in south korea is to maintain the highest level of readiness in order to fight tonight against this amazing military, this large military that north korea has. second mission is to deescalate. it's all about de-escalation. that's how this alliance organized itself because we don't want conditions to spin out of control. anything our president says right now is not either contributing or ex-acerbating te situation or m situation. >> always appreciate your perspective. thank you for being here.
>> absolutely. >> as we just discussed, tensions on the rise there on the korean peninsula. president trump away from the white house this time without some of his top aides. details on what the president is doing this morning this seventh time he's visited his island resort there in florida. >> also, protesters of the president using this giant chicken balloon to blast the president over his tax returns. now thousands are about to march onto washington for that very argument.
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17 minutes past the hour right now. president trump back on the golf course this morning in florida. cnn's jessica schneider live in west palm beach. we know that he's being briefed on what's happening with north korea. what are you hearing about how he's preparing this morning and who he's talking to?
>> reporter: down here with the president. they traveled down here to be with him in south florida throughout the weekend throughout this easter holiday. as you mentioned, for the second morning in a row, president trump is over at his trump international golf club just a few miles from his resort. we do know that national security council staff is monitoring what's happening in north korea, if anything does transpire. they're briefing and performing the president. we know it isn't the white house, mhe can receive classifid information and it's equipped with videoconferencing capabilities and classified features. that's where president trump was last thursday during the strikes in syria so we know that he has
utilized the secure area before but for the most part it's been a quiet weekend for president trump. he's been relaxing on the golf course. we do know that he is down here with his wife, first lady, melania trump, and his son barron and his son don jr. with his family. so president trump staying briefed and informed but also relaxing and enjoying the holiday weekend as well. >> all right. jessica schneider, appreciate it. thank you. rebecca berg with us. and kelly, deputy editor of "the weekly standard." ladies good morning. kelly, let me start with you and the vice president, mike pence, headed on this 11-day tour of the asia pacific region starting with reassuring ally there in south korea and the president at his island resort for playing golf for the 19th time. why isn't the president going on this tour? >> that's an excellent question,
victor. people said after the campaign when mike pence became vice presidential nominee, someone went to john kasich and offered him the position and said you'll set the policy and trump will be making america great again. so we're sort of seeing mike pence taking on a larger role. i think part of it is that trump likes to see like a very important guy. for people to come to him. especially to his own property as jinping did. it makes him look important. maybe that's a negotiating tactic to keep himself looking like he is the guy to make the deal with. >> rebecca, there was that article during the campaign when paul manafort said that trump would be chairman of the board
when he delegated responsibilities and when he can, delegating north korea, a decision coming up. let me ask you, who is winning the message war between the u.s. and china. president saying that china has to get involved and china has control over north korea. chinese foreign minister saying if they let a war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culal culpability. >> he told "the wall street journal" the chinese president explained to him this contact in north korea and history between china and north korea and this was news to him. i think that was perhaps the most telling admission in this messaging back and forth that the president is really learning this as he goes and learning a lot more now about this conflict having spoken with china about
it. but the president has changed his tone on china in a very interesting way since his meeting with the chinese president of course flipping on his former claim they are currency manipulators and now deciding they are not and doesn't want to use that terminology. it's fluid in terms of what we hear from president trump, and i expect that we might see that continue moving forward. >> the discussion of geopolitical rhetorical shift here, i want you to listen to what the president said during the campaign about diplomacy versus military action and his preferences here. >> unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. you can not have a foreign policy without diplomacy. a super power understands that caution and restrained are really, truly signs of strength. >> caution and restraint.
let's look at some of the military decisions that the president has been under this administration thus far. yemen, iraq, syria, afghanistan, somalia, strikes and troop deployments there. watching north korea. there could be a surge of troops in afghanistan. is this a problem for his supporters? >> it is. it's funny because during the campaign i kept saying that we don't really know what a president trump will do on a lot of issues because i don't think he really knew himself. he was not an experienced politician. he sort of made it clear that he hadn't done a lot of reading on a lot of issues, and he made big pronouncements like that, but the fact that he can change his mind very quickly indicated we did not know what president trump would do once in office. one thing the whole north korea thing i find interesting that president trump when he met with barack obama outgoing president at their final meeting before
trump took office, obama said to him that watch north korea. that is actually the biggest threat that america faces. and a lot of people were surprised that obama said that. i'm sure trump himself was. and maybe things like that and again coming into office hearing the intelligence although maybe mike pence is going to those meetings more than trump. perhaps has changed his mind on a lot of these issues. >> if you flip that coin, some supporters may have a problem with numbers of arenas that the u.s. has increased either troops deployments or had some military activity, the president did promise that the world will respect us again. that he will take bold action. maybe this satisfies some of those supporters. >> absolutely. donald trump although he stressed in his campaign that he wouldn't bring u.s. troops into some of these arenas, he did stress he would bomb people. he would bomb the hell out of isis during the campaign and projected there would be a
strength to his military stranl. that's what we're seeing now and a lot of his supporters will respond positively to that actually. >> hell isn't the word he used but i appreciate your editing because of the hour and that we're on television president. >> smart woman there. one question still lingering since the campaign for a lot of people, will donald trump release his tax returns? thousands are now calling the president as you can see in the clip there, a chicken, and their message is going right to washington. tom foreman has a live look for us in just a bit. >> reporter: i'm here at the u.s. capitol where protesters help to send a message to president trump about taxes. not their taxes but his. we'll have that coming right up. >> the vice president on his way to south korea as north korea flexes its military might. what can he do to calm rising tensions in the region and reassure the u.s. ally there,
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will i have pain and bloating today? my doctor recommended ibgard to manage my ibs. take control. ask your doctor about nonprescription ibgard. it is so good to see you on this saturday. i'm christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. good morning to you. >> this morning north korea is showing off its military firepower so to speak on the birthday of its founding father leader kim jong-un's grandfather. pyongyang putting the u.s. on notice as tensions spike between the two countries. >> the big centerpiece of the parade today, two new intercontinental ballistic missile size canisters. in north korea has the missiles, they could give the country the ability to strike targets on the u.s. mainland. vice president mike pence is on his way to south korea right for you for a show of solidarity with the u.s. ally. the trip will include visits to japan, indonesia and australia.
united airlines announced this morning it is making more changes to its policies to combat the recent outrage over the passenger dragged off one of their flights to make room for united personnel. the airline will now require staff and crew members to be booked 60 minutes before their departing flights. a united spokeswoman is calling this one of their "initial steps" in a review of policies in order to deliver the best customer experience. fewer than 100 days presidency and the president facing calls to release his tax return. the people are ready to march to the white house and around the country as well. our latest cnn poll showing 74% of americans believe president trump should release his tax returns and calls are growing across party lines here now too. 51% of republicans agree trump's
tax returns need to be public. our tom foreman is out with organizers today as they get ready to protest in just a few hours. help us understand what you're seeing and what they're saying there. >> reporter: the crowd is small. they hope to get a rally in front of the capital and have a few members of congress here as well. they are hitting back against this idea that the administration said at one point they don't think the american public cares about the president's tax returns. the american public does. democrats more than republicans of course but even republicans in our polling would like him to release his tax returns so the public has a better idea of what his business is about, who he has done business with, and how that may or may not play into his presidency. the main rally will happen for an hour. it will be about more than
taxes. it will address immigration and fair treatment of people and working wage and all sorts of things like that. the group after an hour will rally and begin marching down the national mall which will take them down to lincoln memorial at the other end. that's their goal. good weather for it. they hope for a big turnout and they're hoping to not be alone. they're supposed to be 180 other protests in towns and cities across this country happening simultaneously so they hope a big turnout sends a big message to the white house and ultimately it results in the turnout of these tax returns they wanted for so long. >> all right. tom foreman, good to see you. thank you. >> let's try to get answers from jason miller, former spokesman to president-elect trump. jason, good morning to you. you heard numbers there. majority of americans, pl want
see the tax returns made public. why aren't they? >> the president said going back to the campaign his taxes are under routine audit and he'll put taxes out and if this were a big vote determinative issue, the president wouldn't have received 306 electoral votes this past november, and i think a broader picture tom foreman hit the nail on the head. what this is really about is elizabeth warren and move on partisan democrats that are -- >> 51% of republicans want to see the returns. >> and the president has said that as soon as his routine audit is completed, he'll put that out. silly to go on any tax lawyer or tax accountant would tell you would be silly to put those out now in the midst of an audit. this is about politics and quite frankly what folks should be talking about if they're out there protesting, which it is a great day here in washington, is the fact if you look at the 300,000 jobs created since president trump took over -- >> he claims 600,000.
>> just since -- when you talk about jobs that were announced even before he was sworn in back in january an additional couple hundred thousand jobs back then. >> he gets credit for those? >> he should absolutely get credit for helping to get the economy going in the right direction. talked about consumer confidence. a 17-year high. we're on the prospects of getting strong corporate tax and individual tax relief. look at unemployment numbers for those in the 18 to 24 demographic down full percentage since he was inaugurated. when you talk about health care reform, he wants to talk about provisions under obamacare allowing folks to stay on their parents' insurance. >> he hasn't got past the threshold yet. four years ago to the day, donald trump tweeted, where is the president, it's time for him
to show tv and strength against repeated threats from north korea. >> i would say the trump administration has done a smart job. different situation than syria or other rogue actors around the world. i think that's why you've seen the president send pence and tillerson to the region in the last month or so. >> where is the president? >> the president has been out addressing north korea and talking about this almost every day. this very much is at the front burner of the administration's plate right now. but the other thing i would point out is we've also seen the talks with chinese where the u.s. has been very aggressive and very forceful saying that we need to have chinese be a
partner. >> let me ask you this. the vice president is on tour of the asia pacific region. the president is spending his seventh weekend at his resort playing his 19th round of golf. speaking of golf, the president of the united states. >> it was reported that obama played 250 rounds of golf. >> everything is executive order because he doesn't have enough time. he's playing so much golf. obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there. i'll work for you. i won't have time to go play golf. he played more golf last year than tiger woods. he plays more golf than people on the tapga tour. i love golf. i don't have time. if i were in the white house, i don't think i would ever see doral again. i'm not going to play much golf believe me. if i win this, i'm not going to be playing much golf. >> put up the full screen comparing the presidents rounds of golf at this point in their
presidencies. 19 visits in 85 days now. at this point president obama hadn't played. president bush hadn't played and president clinton visited three times. how is this anything short of hypocritical? >> i disagree. the fact of the matter is if the president wants to play golf on the weekend to relax and blow off steam, absolutely. >> 19 visits in 13 weeks? >> if he -- it's totally fine if he wants to relax by playing golf on the weekends. look, this is easter weekend. most americans are probably not at work right now. and the fact of the matter is -- >> most americans aren't president of the united states. >> this president is up at 5:00 in the morning every day and doesn't quit until 11:00 p.m. and the guy works around the clock there at the white house. so if he wants to play golf on the weekends, big deal. >> it's a big deal because let's put up the numbers. i want the viewers to see how much this is costing. put that up. you can finish your point. go ahead.
go ahead, jason. >> hold on. throwing graphics up. we haven't seen these numbers. i'm not sure what these are. fact of the matter is a president should absolutely have the ability to relax on the weekends and get a little bit of time to clear their head. it's very stressful job that keeps them going around the clock. we haven't seen the president take off on big major vacations. this guy shows up and works every day. you look at where the economy is as we talked about. i think it's definitely moving in the right direction. you look at him standing up to syria and also going after -- >> we got it. we are running out of time. this was a four-minute segment i turned into six. i wanted people to see those numbers as the president now goes to his resort for a seventh visit as vice president heads off to -- >> he's not taking off for a multiweek vacations to hawaii in the middle of a big crises or other things going on. >> it's convenient having a
resort to go to. you don't have to go to hawaii. the vice president will be at the end of his asia pacific tour. >> good for him to being so suck esf -- successful that he was able to build a resort to go to. it's disingenuous to throw that at me and attack the president if he wants to play golf on the weekend. again, the issue with president obama is he would take off on these long vacations. i just think it's disingenuous to throw that. >> thank you very much, jason miller. quick break. we'll be back. (announcer vo) when you have type 2 diabetes,
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vice president mike pence is on his way to south korea as part of an 11-day asia pacific tour. this is his first official visit to the region, and it comes at a crucial moment, a critical moment for the trump administration and u.s. allies. >> the president is hoping china can help control rising tensions on the korean peninsula as the north korean regime is showing off what we're seeing for the first time what could be powerful long-range missiles.
joining us right now, david and graham. gentlemen, thank you both for taking the time to be with us. we appreciate it. david, we would like to start with you. given what's at stake here in the region right now, what is the significance that mike pence is traveling to south korea as opposed to the president himself? >> well, this is a third senior administration official to go to the region to try and reassure our allies that the united states will be there to defend them and to try to talk to china about what to do with north korea. i think it shows just how important this issue really is. and how little of a handle any of us have on it. >> graham, president trump, he tweeted something this week that caught a lot of attention. i want to read it to you. he said "i have great confidence that china will properly deal with north korea if they are unable to do so the u.s., with
its allies, will. usa." you have written extensively about this topic. do you read that and hear a threat to china as much as one to north korea? >> absolutely. so president trump has said north korea will not acquire a capability to strike the american mainland with nuclear weapons, and if china fails to deal with north korea, he will by striking north korea. china knows that could lead to a war between china and the u.s., so he's trying to make credible something that seems incredible and seems almost hard to believe. he's stated unambiguous red line and therefore this tension will continue building. >> david, i want to read to you what a north korean official released. strong statement here a little while ago. it said in part if the u.s. does
any reckless provocation, we will immediately apply a destructive strike with our revolutionary power. we're prepared to respond to an all out war with an all out war and ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of you are own style against any nuclear attack. earlier today we talked to a general who said the u.s. knows what north korea is capable of logistically in terms of the weaponry that they have. what the u.s. and allies aren't so sure about is kim jong-un and what he will decide to do. do you get a sense that there is a certain kind of action that might constitute what north korea considers to be a reckless provocation? >> well, yeah. and one thing that we all ignore or overlook is that north korea consistently says if the united states or south korea attacks first, they'll fight back. they say this over and over again. it's not about them starting a
war. it's about if we attack them first. so our talk of a preemptive strike is one where they say if we attack them first, they'll come back. the thing is, we all tend to believe they'll go down swinging, which is why we don't attack. >> do we know what an attack would look like in kim jong-un's eyes? we know what they have logistically in terms of their weaponry. we just don't know what's going on inside his head. >> yeah. the question is if we were to actually try to do some kind of a missile targeted strike against north korea, would they respond? >> so having ships in that area as the u.s. does now wouldn't constitute a provocation? >> we do that all the time. >> we do? >> on a yearly basis. >> we do. he doesn't like it. >> yes. that's our show of strength. their show of strength is the parades they just had and missile tests that they do.
>> okay. graham, i know as i said you have written extensively about the relationship between u.s. and china and written a book in which you say that the two countries could be heading toward war. why do you write that and do you think it's inevitable? >> well, not inevitable but a fast track the war is just the scenario that we've been discussing. donald trump says north korea cannot acquire a capability to attack the american homeland with nuclear weapons. if the only way to prevent that is an attack on north korea, like the attack on syria, he says he's going to conduct that attack. north korea kim jong-un says if that happens, he's going to attack and destroy seoul. if that were to happen, we're into a second korean war in which americans will be fighting chinese. no chinese and no americans want to fight each other. that's a very fast track from the path that we're on and this
window is marryo narrowing beca jong-un will advance his ca capability to attack the mainland. the window is tightening every day. the missiles that he showed the mockups of, if those are real icbms, he's very close to the line that donald trump says he will never cross while donald trump is president. so this crisis is building. >> david and graham, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. good to speak with both of you. >> thank you. >> vice president mike pence on his way to seoul, south korea. the first stop on his asia pacific tour. this comes as tensions as we've discussed grow between the u.s. and north korea. is the united states prepared to launch a preemptive strike. we'll discuss that possibility at the top of the hour.
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we want to recognize these every-day people that are changing the people because they're out there. would you believe we're so proud that a lot of schools have now incorporated the campaign into their curriculum. >> meet brian o'connor. a fifth grade teacher in suburban new york city and found a way to connect his students with these extraordinary individuals. >> throughout our school year, we will set up several skype calls with various heroes. they are a celebrity to my kids. as they should be. kids come up with amazing questions. >> how long did it take you? >> how is it different? when i see how excited that fifth grader is, it makes me realize that we're doing something right in here. >> that's good teacher. >> that's a good teacher. to see the full impact of cnn heroes in the classroom, go to cnnheroes go cnnheroes.com and nominate someone you think should be a
2017 cnn hero. >> go make great memories today. >> much more ahead on north korea in the next hour of cnn "newsroom" coming up after a quick break. the following ad for your viewing convenience. i finally switched to geico. oh yeah? ended up saving a ton of money on car insurance. i hear they have a really great mobile app. the interface is remarkably intuitive. that's so important. ♪
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